Saturday, June 24, 2006

It's in the stars!

I rarely mention leftwing blogs because, let's face it, they are depressing. But Redstate has a look at MyDD that makes one laugh (and yet want to cry at the same time)


Dan at Riel World started the story.

It would be just another leftwing wacko story, except "The Astrologer" works for the Mark Warner and Sherod Brown campaigns. You know Warner? The one who is set to save the Democratic party. That is, if the moon is in the seventh house...Heh.

via PW

And This Guy Was Almost President?

Investor's Business Daily (of all places) gives us a summary of why we should be on our knees daily thanking God that Kerry didn't become President and what needs to be known about Kerry when he runs again for the Presidency. (I don't think he will get the nomination, but the Democrats are constantly shooting themselves in the foot, so it's possible)

Sen. John Kerry has spent a career taking the side of America's enemies. His call last week for a pullout from Iraq was the latest evidence he is unfit to serve in the Senate — never mind the White House.

Kerry's proposal to withdraw us completely from Iraq by July of next year was resoundingly defeated in the Senate by a vote of 86 to 13. And just days before, he said the deadline should be the end of this year.

But Kerry's idea is the exact opposite of what he was calling for in late 2003 while running for president. Back then he was accusing President Bush of planning to prematurely withdraw from Iraq.

"I fear that in the run-up to the 2004 election the administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut-and-run strategy," Kerry told the Council on Foreign Relations. He said it would be "a disaster and a disgraceful betrayal of principle" to allow "a politically expedient withdrawal of American troops."

That's one of but many Kerry flip-flops, but he's been consistent over the years in siding against the U.S. in war. Things really got started for Kerry at Valley Forge, Pa., of all places, where he provided an encore to a Jane Fonda speech at an anti-war rally in 1970.

"Hanoi Jane" is remembered for traveling to North Vietnam to give backing and encouragement to its communist regime as it killed tens of thousands of American forces.

In a 2004 interview, Fonda said of Kerry, "I remember thinking, 'Wow, this is a real leader, a Lincolnesque kind of leader.' "

Fonda reportedly gave tens of thousands of dollars of proceeds from her anti-war speeches to Kerry's Vietnam Veterans Against the War organization so it could investigate purported atrocities by U.S. military personnel.

On "Meet the Press" in 1971, Kerry called "the men who ordered us" — namely the White House under Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon — "war criminals."

Bui Tin, the North Vietnam army colonel who accepted South Vietnam's surrender in 1975 and later left for exile as a dissident against the communist Hanoi government, called the anti-war movement Kerry and Fonda helped lead in the U.S. in the early 1970s "essential to our strategy."

Indeed, Kerry's photo was placed on display in Vietnam's "War Remnants Museum" (originally named "War Crimes Museum" when it was opened in 1975).

According to The Boston Globe's 2004 "complete biography" of Kerry, in the 1984 campaign that first landed him in the Senate — during the height of the Cold War against the Soviet Union — "Kerry supported cancellation of a host of weapons systems that have become the basis of U.S. military might — the high-tech munitions and delivery systems on display to the world as they leveled the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein in a matter of weeks in 2003."

They include the B-1 and B-2/Stealth bombers, the Apache helicopter, the Patriot missile, and the F-15, F-14A and F-14D jets. He also repeatedly voted against missile defense — more than 50 times, by our count.

During President Reagan's second term, Kerry urged Congress to trust "the good faith of the Sandinistas" and cut funding to Nicaragua's Contra freedom fighters. And he used the Senate's investigative powers to make sure no back-door funding was going to the Contras.

So when Kerry isn't flip-flopping for the sake of politics, he's serving the purposes of our adversaries — from Vietnam to the War on Terror. Whether it's poor judgment, or something more sinister that animates John Kerry, it's remarkable that someone so dangerous could have come so close to occupying the Oval Office.

via Instapundit

Friday, June 23, 2006

My boys blogging.

Cuz they are so cute.

Doggy blogging!

Cuz she is sooo cute!

via Darleen

Enough already.

Update: Andrew McCarthy nails it:

The blunt reality here is that there is a war against the war. It is the jihad of privacy fetishists whose self-absorption knows no bounds. Pleas rooted in the well-being of our community hold no sway.

The anti-warriors know only the language of self-interest. It is the language that tells them the revelation of the nation’s secrets will result, forthwith, in the demand for the revelation of their secrets — which is to say, their sources in the intelligence community — with incarceration the price of resistance. It is the language admonishing that even journalists themselves may be prosecuted when their publication of national secrets violates the law.

Bluntly, officials who leak the classified information with which they have been entrusted can be prosecuted for theft of government property. If the information is especially sensitive, they can be prosecuted for violating the Espionage Act. In either event, the press has no legal right to protect such lawlessness.

That is our simple choice: Strong medicine we will either take or persist in declining … while resigning ourselves to more of the same.

via Michelle

Open Thread Friday.

Super busy today. Talk among yourselves!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Man, oh man.

The 2 soldiers captured, tortured and killed in Iraq had MySpaces. I clicked on them to see and the messages will break your heart, especially those left after they were killed. I wish MySpace allowed non-friends to leave a message so everyone could leave messages there as a tribute. Here are their links:



I'm not sure if this is true, but over at the MySpace Military and Military Supporters group they are saying that one of the moms found out about her son's death through the news reports before the army could contact her. If true, the media (as usual) should be ashamed.

Update: As I am watching the press conference with Rumsfield I hear a reporter say say that the American people want to know the details of the brutal murder of these two boys. I'm so glad that this reporter can speak for the American people. It makes me want to throw up when they say things like that. Am I alone here in thinking that we do not need the gruesome details? We are all well aware of the brutality of these terrorists. Most of us either saw or read about Zarqwari sawing off Berg's head. Yeah. Thanks Mr. reporter, most of realize the evil here. Which is why we need to finish this fight.

America Says Thank You.

National TV Campaign:

“America Says Thank You”


Television & Radio Ad Campaign Thanks U.S. Troops
for Service & Sacrifice in Iraq & Afghanistan

Listen and see these ads Here. You have GOT to listen to these. They are awesome. TV ad here.

We need to all contribute to this. This is one of things where I ask any of you who feel a need to contribute to this blog to do this instead. Now go.

h/t Joe

Ah yes, we finally have solid proof of WMD's. Is this really a surprise?

You guys will have to forgive me for not being on top of things. Summertime is my busiest time with all the kids our of school and the house full of every kid in the neighborhood practically, all my son's college friends, and the gaggle of girls that hover around my daughter (and her boyfriend of course)

But here is the highlights via NRO of the WMD findings yesterday:

Rough transcript of last nightÂ’s press conference here.
Highlights of yesterdayÂ’s Negroponte declassification, via Santorum.
The actual letter.
Transcript of Santorum on Hugh Hewitt.
How can this be about 2006 election politics, Alan Colmes (he was droning on an on about this point last night on his radio show)?
Hoekstra & Santorum on Hannity & Colmes here. report.

So....We found 500 chemical weapons in Iraq since 2003, and more weapons of mass destruction are likely to be uncovered. No one on the right is surprised by this. We all knew Saddam had them. I suppose we could gloat until the cows come home and say "I told ya so," but really, the left that called Bush a liar, just needs to apologize and then we need to move forward and GET IT DONE IN IRAQ.

If the Democratic leadership has any dignity left, they will begin helping us do that right now and stop fighting us to score political points. Don't try and justify this somehow. This is solid proof that Saddam Hussein was lying (NOT BUSH) when he said all weapons had been destroyed, and it proves the weapons inspectors did not uncover these munitions. We gave Saddam ample opportunity to get rid of these and surrender and HE REFUSED. He knew the consequences.

I saw Al Sharpton on Bill O' Reilly last night and he said that if this is true, then he will apologize to Bush. If he can do it, the rest of the Democrats can.

My advice to Democrats? Step up to the plate and show some integrity. THAT will get you elected more than any showboating and justifying.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

An Amazing Story. Politics meets reality.

Commentary at by Ted Harvey, assistant minority leader, Colorado House:

She sings the anthem to applause, then her secret is revealed to stunned silence.

I want to share with you an awesome experience I had in the Colorado House of Representatives on May 8. It is a humbling experience to look back and realize that God used me to play a role in His divine orchestration.

I was leaving the House chambers for the weekend when our Democrat speaker of the House announced that the coming Monday would be the final day of this year's General Assembly. He went on to state that there were still numerous resolutions on the calendar which we would need to be addressed prior to the summer adjournment. Interestingly, he specifically mentioned that one of the resolutions we would be hearing was being carried by the House Majority Leader Alice Madden, honoring the 90th anniversary of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.As a strong pro-life legislator I was disgusted by the idea that we would pass a resolution honoring this 90-year legacy of genocide. I drove home that night wondering what I could say that might pierce the darkness during the debate on this heinous resolution.

On Saturday morning, I took my 8-year-old son up to the mountains to go white-water rafting. The trip lasted all day. As we were driving home, exhausted and hungry, I remembered that I had accepted an invitation to attend a fundraising dinner that night for a local pro-life organization. One of my most respected mentors had personally called me several weeks earlier and asked me to attend, so I knew I'd have to clean up and head over.

After our meal, the executive director of the organization introduced the keynote speaker. I looked up and saw walking to the stage a handicapped young lady being assisted to the microphone by a young man holding a guitar.

Her name was Gianna Jessen.

Gianna said "Hello," welcomed everyone, and then sang three of the most beautiful Christian songs I have ever heard.

She then began to give her testimony. When her biological mother was 17 years old and seven and a half months pregnant, she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic to have an abortion. As God would have it, the abortion failed and a beautiful 2-pound baby girl was brought into the world. Unfortunately, she was born with cerebral palsy and the doctors thought that she would never survive. The doctors were wrong.

Imagine the timing! A survivor of a Planned Parenthood abortion arrived in town just days before the Colorado House of Representatives was to celebrate Planned Parenthood's "wonderful" work.

As I listened to Gianna's amazing testimony, the Lord inspired me to ask her if she could stay in Denver until Monday morning so that I could introduce her on the floor of the House and tell her story. Perhaps she could even begin the final day's session by singing our country's national anthem!

To my surprise she said she would seriously consider it. If she were to agree, she wanted her accompanying guitarist to stay as well. A lady standing in line behind me waiting to meet Gianna overheard our conversation and said that she would be willing to pay for the guitarist's room. Gianna then said that she would think about it.

As I was driving home from the banquet, my cell phone rang. It was Gianna, and she immediately said, "I'm in, let's ruin this celebration." Praise God!

When Monday morning came, I awoke at 6 a.m. to write my speech before heading to the Capitol. As I wrote down the words, I could sense God's help and I knew that this was going to be a powerful moment for the pro-life movement.

Following a committee hearing, I rushed into the House chambers just as the opening morning prayer was about to be given. Between the prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, I wrote a quick note to the speaker of the House explaining that Gianna is an advocate for cerebral palsy. I took the note to the speaker and asked if I could have my friend open the last day of session by singing the national anthem. Without any hesitation the speaker took the microphone and said, "Before we begin, Representative Harvey has made available for us Gianna Jessen to sing the national anthem."

Gianna sang the most amazing rendition of The Star Spangled Banner that you could possibly imagine. Every person in the entire chamber was completely still, quiet and in awe of this frail young lady's voice.Due to her cerebral palsy, Gianna often loses her balance, and shortly after starting to sing she grabbed my arm to stabilize herself, and I could tell that she was shaking. Suddenly, midway through the song, she forgot the words and began to hum and then said, "Please forgive me; I am so nervous." She then immediately began singing again and every House member and every guest throughout the chambers began to sing along with her to give her encouragement and to lift her up.

As I looked around the huge hall I listened to the unbelievable melody of Gianna's voice being accompanied by a choir of over 100 voices. I had chills running all over my body, and I knew that I had just witnessed an act of God.

As the song concluded the speaker of the House explained that Gianna has cerebral palsy and is an activist to bring awareness to the disease. "Let us give her a hand not only for her performance today, but also for her advocacy work," he said. The chamber immediately exploded into applause -- she had them all in the palm of her hand.

The speaker then called the House to order, and we proceeded as usual to allow members to make any announcements or introductions of guests. For dramatic effect, I waited until I was the last person remaining before I introduced Gianna.

As I waited for my turn, I nervously paced back and forth praying to God that he would give me the peace, confidence and the courage necessary to pull off what I knew would be one of the most dramatic and controversial moments of my political career.

While I waited, a prominent reporter from one of the major Denver newspapers walked over to Gianna and told her that her rendition captured the spirit of the national anthem more powerfully than any she had ever heard before.

Finally, I was the last person remaining. So, I proceeded to the microphone and began my speech.

Members, I would like to introduce you to a new friend and hero of mine -- her name is Gianna Jessen. She is visiting us today from Nashville, Tennessee, where she is an accomplished recording artist.She has cerebral palsy and was raised in foster homes before being adopted at the age of four.She was born prematurely and weighed only 2 pounds at birth. She remained in the hospital for almost three months. A doctor once said she had a great will to live and that she fought for her life. Eventually she was able to leave the hospital and be placed in foster care.Because of her cerebral palsy, her foster mother was told that it was doubtful that she would ever crawl or walk. She could not sit up independently. Through the prayers and dedication of her foster mother, she eventually learned to sit up, crawl, then stand. Shortly before her fourth birthday, she began to walk with leg braces and a walker.She continued in physical therapy and after a total of four surgeries, she was able to walk without assistance.

She still falls sometimes, but she says she has learned how to fall gracefully after falling for 29 years.

Two years ago, she walked into a local health club and said she wanted a private trainer. At the time her legs could not lift 30 pounds. Today she can leg press 200 pounds.

She became so physically fit that she began running marathons to raise money and awareness for cerebral palsy. She just returned last week from England where she ran in the London Marathon. It took her more than eight-and-a-half hours to complete. They were taking down the course by the time she made it to the finish line. But she made it, nonetheless. With bloody feet and aching joints, she finished the race.Members would you help me recognize a modern-day hero -- Gianna Jessen?

At this point the chamber exploded into applause which lasted for 15-to-20 seconds. Gianna had touched their souls.

Ironically, Alice Madden, the majority leader and sponsor of the Planned Parenthood resolution, walked over to Gianna and congratulated her.As the applause began to die down, I raised my hand to be recognized one more time.

Mr. Speaker, members, if you would allow me just a few more moments I would appreciate your time.

My name is Ted Harvey, not Paul Harvey, but, please, let me tell you the rest of the story.

The cause of Gianna's cerebral palsy is not because of some biological freak of nature, but rather the choice of her mother.

You see when her biological mother was 17-years-old and 7-and-a-half months pregnant, she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic to seek a late-term abortion. The abortionist performed a saline abortion on this 17-year-old girl. This procedure requires the injection of a high concentration of saline into the mother's womb, which the fetus is then bathed in and swallows, which results in the fetus being burned to death, inside and out. Within 24 hours the results are normally an induced, still-born abortion.As Gianna can testify, the procedure is not always 100 percent effective. Gianna is an aborted late-term fetus who was born alive. The high concentration of saline in the womb for 24 hours resulted in a lack of oxygen to her brain and is the cause of her cerebral palsy.Members, today, we are going to recognize the 90th anniversary of Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood…"

BANG! The gavel came down.


Deafening silence.

I then walked back to my chair shaking like a leaf. The Democrats wouldn't look at me. They were fuming. It was beautiful. I have been in the Legislature for five tough years, and this made it all worthwhile.The House majority leader wouldn't talk to me the rest of the day.Was it because I introduced an abortion survivor, or was it because we touched her soul? She could congratulate an inspirational cerebral palsy victim and advocate, but was outraged when she discovered that the person she congratulated was also an abortion survivor.

The headline in The Denver Post the next day read "Abortion Jab Earns Rebuke." The majority leader is quoted as saying, "I think it was amazingly rude to use a human being as an example of his personal politics."

Yes, Representative Madden, Gianna Jessen is a human being. She was when she was in her mother's womb, and she was when she sang the national anthem on the floor of the Colorado House of Representatives.

The paper went on to quote Gianna, stating she was glad I told her story."We need to discuss the humanity of it. I'm glad to be able to speak up for children in the womb," she said. "If abortion is about women's rights, where were my rights?"

All I can say is, "Glory to God!" He orchestrated it all, every minute of it, and I was so honored to have been chosen to play a part. May we all continue to be filled with and to fight for the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Many may not appreciate the religious sentiment here, but even without it, it is clearly a dramatic way to put a face on abortion. Gianna made the most jarring point of all. Where were her rights??? Gianna is the product of abortion. She is what happens when we don't kill our unborn children. And you don't have to be relgious to understand how wrong abortion is.

via Linda of The Cotillion

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Kathy Griffin. Sometimes liberals put their money where their mouth is.

I think I have blogged before on how funny I think Kathy Griffin is. I hate her politics, but for some reason she makes me laugh so much I forget about it.

I was watching "My Life On The "D" List" on the Bravo channel tonight and it was the episode where she goes to Baghdad to do a show for the troops. She mentioned that there were not many celebrities that wanted to entertain in Iraq so they had to take her. She went with Mike McDonald from Mad TV who is also hilarious and an actress from "Jag" that I am not familiar with.

It was so sweet when they went through the unit's hospital to visit the wounded. Then the show was really funny. Seeing the troops there sitting in harm's way just made my heart ache. I know liberals love to come to this site and talk about how so many of us that support the war won't serve, but I swear, if there was a way for me to go there, I would. If I was a celebrity I would have gone there in a New York second. I just have so much admiration and respect for our military.

Kathy made it clear that she hated Bush, but that she supported the troops. Usually I don't buy that, but this time by putting herself on the line, I totally believed her and respected her for putting her patriotism above her politics. Good on her.

Does anyone else see the sweet irony here?

The fact that Dan Rather trying everything possible to defeat George Bush in the Presidential elections, brings about his own career defeat.


Where does media bias come from and are they anti-American?

Real Clear Politics has this:

Cap Weinberger and Wynton Hall point out a very telling thing with this quotes cataloged by Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center:

"The reason that the World Trade Center got hit is because there are a lot of people living in abject poverty out there who don't have any hope for a better life....I think they [the 19 hijackers] were brave at the very least." - AOL Time Warner Vice Chairman and CNN founder Ted Turner in February 11 remarks at Brown University, as reported by Gerald Carbone in the February 12, 2002, Providence Journal. The next day, Turner issued a statement: "The attacks of Sept. 11 were despicable acts. I in no way meant to convey otherwise."

Headline: "Our Soldiers in Iraq Aren't Heroes."

"We should not bestow the mantle of heroism on all of them [American men and women in uniform] for simply being where we sent them. Most are victims, not heroes." - CBS News 60 Minutes commentator, Andy Rooney, writing for The Buffalo News, April 12, 2004.

"We all know that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter and that Reuters upholds the principle that we do not use the word terrorist....To be frank, it adds little to call the attack on the World Trade Center a terrorist attack." - Steven Jukes, global head of news for Reuters News Service, in an internal memo cited by the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz in a September 24, 2001, article.

"What drives American civilians to risk death in Iraq? In this economy it may be, for some, the only job they can find." - Dan Rather denigrating the men and women of the Armed Forces by suggesting their decision to serve their nation was a last resort during the CBS Evening News on March 31, 2004, the day four American civilians were killed and mutilated in Fallujah, Iraq.

"The other day, while taking a break by the Al-Hamra Hotel pool...I was accosted by an American magazine journalist of serious accomplishment and impeccable liberal credentials....She came to the point. Not only had she 'known' the Iraq war would fail but she considered it essential that it did so because this would ensure that the 'evil' George W. Bush would no longer be running her country. Her editors back on the East Coast were giggling, she said, over what a disaster Iraq had turned out to be. 'Lots of us talk about how awful it would be if this worked out.'" - British journalist Toby Harnden, a reporter for the London Daily Telegraph, in an article published in the May 15, 2004, edition of The Spectator, a British-based weekly, recounting a conversation at a Baghdad hotel.

"Like beauty, freedom is a perception that lies in the eye of the beholder, and we ignore other nations' versions at our peril. The most dangerous perception of all may be that one's own side has an exclusive claim to either the truth or patriotism." - CBS News foreign correspondent, Allen Pizzey, preaching moral relativism on CBS's Sunday Morning, October 14, 2001.

"I don't support our troops." - Joel Stein, Los Angeles Times columnist, January 26, 2006

"I decided to put on my flag pin tonight--first time.... I put it on to remind myself that not every patriot thinks we should do to the people of Baghdad what bin Laden did to us." - Bill Moyers on PBS's Now, February 28, 2003.

The point? That these are not leftwing bloggers, these are not the Hollywood leftie elite, or the radical wing of the Democratic party. These are leading reporters and media executives.

As the article points out:

"These are some of our nation's leading journalistic lights; people whose words ricochet around the globe and often set the terms of debate for world leaders on issues of global concern."

It boggles the mind.

Hotmail problems.

I haven't been able to access my hotmail since last night, so if you have e-mailed me and not received a response, that is why.

I will have a computer wizard looking at it this evening. (my son)....;-)

Haditha Update.

The LA Times has this: (emphasis mine)

The general charged with investigating whether Marines tried to cover up the killing of 24 civilians in Haditha has completed his report, finding that Marine officers failed to ask the right questions, an official close to the investigation said Friday.

Nothing in the report points to a "knowing cover-up" of the facts by the officers supervising the Marines involved in the November incident, the official said. Rather, he said, officers from the company level through the staff of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force in Baghdad failed to demand "a thorough explanation" of what happened in Haditha.

via Mary Katherine Ham

We are on a roll.....

The Captain has this:

CENTCOM announced minutes ago that one of the men expected to take the place of the now-room temperature Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has also reached thermal equilibrium near Baghdad. The spokesman for the military briefed reporters on the death of Sheikh Mansur, displaying before and after mug shots of the dead terrorist and explained his significance to the insurgent network in Iraq. So far, none of the wire services have picked up the story; I will fill in the details as they become available.

UPDATE: The BBC has an addendum to the story on the discovery of the two bodies that reports up to 15 insurgents killed while hunting a "senior member of al-Qaeda in Iraq," but does not identify Sheikh Mansur despite the specifics in the briefing.

UPDATE II: The Commissar asks if I may have mistranscribed the name from al-Masri or al-Mohajer. I took the name from the placard at the briefing, but it still might be the same person, as terrorists have been known to adopt multiple identities. I'm waiting for better reporting to come from the morning briefing, and find it disappointing that the story has not made its own way onto the wires thus far. Still scanning ...

UPDATE III: CENTCOM now has a release stating that they have detained a senior AQI leader and three of his lieutenants near Baghdad. CENTCOM has not named the terrorists detained as yet.

UPDATE IV: Thanks to CQ reader Brendan F, we see that the BBC has updated their report:
Gen Caldwell said on Tuesday US forces had killed Zarqawi's "right-hand man" in a raid in Yusifiya on Friday, near where the US troops were abducted.

The general said Iraqi Mansur Suleiman al-Mashhadani was "a key leader in al-Qaeda" and could have succeeded Zarqawi.

So now we have mainstream media confirmation on the kill -- and it appears we also have another senior AQI leader detained. It may take some time to get the information clear about the later CENTCOM release.

Monday, June 19, 2006

It's Official....

Connie Chung has lost her mind.

via NRO

Gore refuses to endorse Lieberman...

Interviewed on Bloomberg TV, Al Gore refused to endorse his former vice presidential running mate, Sen. Joe Lieberman (C-CT), in his re-election race.

Said Gore: "I am not involved. I typically do not get involved in Democratic primaries. Joe is my close friend, Joe and Hadassah are close to Tipper and me and it would be very difficult for me to ever oppose him. But I don't get involved in primaries typically. He's a great guy and he's right on a lot of other issues."

Of course, Gore did get involved in the 2004 Democratic presidential primaries and backed Howard Dean over Lieberman.

Update: Political Wire has learned that former Connecticut Democratic party chairman George Jepsen is endorsing Lieberman's primary challenger, Ned Lamont, in a press conference this afternoon.

Ouch. That has to hurt. His former running mate for President/Vice President won't endorse him and isn't even honest about why.

Riding With Respect.

Imagine being a mild mannered software analyst working in Houston one summer, having no idea how dramatically your life is about to change in one year. The next summer you find yourself appearing on 'Hannity and Colmes' and 'Good Morning America' and in addition to all that, you find yourself standing next the President of the United States at the White House as he signs legislation into law.

That is exactly what happened to Kurt Mayer, one of the executive directors of The Patriot Guard Riders. After I wrote a bit about them last week on my TexasSparkle blog, I decided to give Kurt a call and find out more.

This is an amazing story. A grassroots non-political organization reacting to the hate filled Phelps group that protests at gay and military funerals. It grew from about 200 members last summer to over 40,000 members today. Wow.

If there ever were a time for a group or organization to bring conservatives and liberals, Republican and Democrats, together in this country, the time would be now. This organization gives liberals, who want to support the troops even if they disagree with the war, an opportunity to do that in a very real honorable way. This mototcycle group, that is 75% Veterans (although you don't have to be a Veteran to join or even own a motorcycle), goes to military funerals at the invitation of the families of fallen soldiers, and usually leads the funeral procession with 3/5 American flags and then stands in honor at the cemetery entrance.

Although this began as a way to shield the family from the hateful signs and shouts of the Phelps group, it also serves as a way to honor soldiers who might not have the kind of funeral service our soldiers deserve with proud Americans showing respect for their service to our country. Imagine 160 motorcycles with American Flags attached with members standing at attention beside their bike lining the entrance to a cemetery. A sight to behold. A beautiful and moving tribute that is well deserved.

Respect is a word heard often in this group. State Captains organize members before each funeral. Usually meeting in a Walmart parking lot beforehand to go over the specifics of what the family has requested. Respect is of the first order. I asked Kurt how the members kept their tempers when these crazy protesters are shouting unspeakable insults at the grieving family. He told me that they make it very clear that one must be able to keep one's temper in this circumstance out of respect for the family. No one wants a fight or a scene at such a time. I find it amazing that every single member at every single service that the Phelps has protested have been able to maintain the discipline needed not to just beat the crap out of this rude insulting group that dares to use Christianity as it's excuse for it's hate. It really goes to show how respect for the family is the most important thing, far more important than one's own feelings.

On Memorial Day President Bush signed the "Respect For America's Fallen Heroes Act," which makes it illegal to protest any closer than 300 feet at a military funeral. Standing beside the President were 6 Patriot Guard Riders and 2 families affected by the Phelps group. I had seen this on TV and in the paper, but I had no idea the Patriot Guard Riders were there. Curiously, they were not mentioned in the news stories that day and they were cropped out of the picture of Bush signing the legislation. I asked Kurt if any member of the press has approached him afterward or asked to speak to him. He said no. Later that day, at the invitation of the White House, they also attended the ceremony of the laying of the wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

One has to wonder why the Patriot Guard Riders were not mentioned in any news stories about the signing of the the Fallen American Heros Act. My first thought was that this is a unifying group and heaven forbid any of us should see Bush as unifier. But that may be my skepticism showing.

It does my heart good to know that this organization continues to grow as a tribute to the respect and honor we bestow upon those who gave the ultimate sacrfice for our country.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Terrorists Say America Is Winning.

How about that? Maybe someone should tell Murtha, Pelosi, and Kerry that.

h/t BigDog